Something to get your gag reflex started early: Rick Warren on wives submitting to their husbands.
In most of the threads I’ve read about Rick Warren delivering the invocation at Obama’s inauguration (including the one here), there have been people in the comments arguing alternately that (1) it wasn’t Obama’s decision, and (2) even if it was, he’s trying to gain political capital and reach across the aisle — he’s being strategic, you see.
That’s all fine and good. The first point, as far as I can tell, is a non-starter. Obama isn’t just being handed a list of inauguration speakers and performers — he has a hand in selecting them, and I have a hard time believing that if he said “I don’t want this person,” the committee would insist. The second point I understand, but it also strikes me as apologism. You don’t build political capital on the backs of your allies. I’m a big Obama fan. I understand that being a uniter is great and important, and it’s how he got elected. But I guess I didn’t realize that “unity” meant “unity at the expense of the basic civil rights of your fellow citizens.” That’s what Rick Warren represents and promotes, and that is a big problem.
While we on the left obviously do need to understand that Obama is going to make compromises and he’s going to disappoint us, it’s crucial that we don’t just follow in lockstep. Part of the reason the religious right has political capital is because they kick and scream and mobilize when their agenda isn’t on the table. It strikes me as phenomenally stupid for progressives to sit down and shut up now that we have a center-left President-elect. Instead, this should be the time for us to really raise our voices and remind Obama that we are his base and we are part of the electorate as much as religious conservatives. Sitting around backing up his more moderate decisions isn’t going to give him any incentive to move left. We have to be pragmatic, and we have to understand why he takes a particular course (and we have to remember that he’s not a left-wing dream; he’s a fairly moderate Democrat). But insisting that everyone get in line and support every decision he makes is not a good strategy if we want to give him a reason — and the ability — to support our agenda.
Below are some excerpts from Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox, pulled from the section on Wives, Husband and Christ by Beth Moore.
1. Submission does not mean women are under the authority of men in general.
I love the King James Version’s rendition of Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands.” Guess what? Wives aren’t asked to submit to anyone else’s husband! Just their own!
Paul’s primary directive to women dealt with submission, while his primary directive to men dealt with love. Could it be that he was targeting the areas most likely to be our weaknesses?
The Greek word for “submit” is hupotasso. Hupo means “under” and tasso means “to place in order.” The compound word hupotasso means “to place under or in an orderly fashion.” Paul didn’t dislike women, he liked order! He advocated order in the church, order in government, order in business, and, yes, order in the home.
God granted women a measure of freedom in submission that we can learn to enjoy.
It is a relief to know that as a wife and mother I am not totally responsible for my family. I have a husband to look to for counsel and direction. I can rely on his toughness when I am too soft and his logic when I am too emotional.
Think of marriage as a three-legged stool. The legs are a submissive wife, a loving husband, and Christ. All three legs must be in place for marriage to work as God intended. A wife submitting to an unloving husband is as lopsided as a loving husband sacrificing for a domineering wife.